Europe Tour ~ Spring of 2007

*(Originally posted as blog on MySpace July 3, 2007)

Europe Tour – Spring of 2007

After all the trouble I went through getting my passport, (which involved paying for two of them, paying for it to be expedited even though it took 2 months, 5 trips to the passport office in Nashville, and ultimately calling my state representative)…..and trying to figure out how to cram 3 weeks worth of clothes in one manageable suitcase (answer: you don’t, you just wear the same things over and over)……It was nice to finally take off for Amsterdamn to actually play music.

April 19th Bergen Op Zoom, NE -Crossroads Radio Show

8:15pm show time in Holland was the equivalent of being up for two straight days with about a 2 hr nap. Not to mention jetlag hadn’t even set in yet. The show was great and the promoter Jos van de Boom has been a very supportive person of my music over the years. Not to mention being a great guy. It was nice to finally meet him. It was one of those in and out shows, so unfortunately we never got to spend much time there. Because judging by the map, it looked close to the sea. I think my guitar player (Dave Coleman) and I were still very unaware of what time schedule we were on, because we stayed up until 5 a.m. with our hosts drinking beer and playing records (Dutch and American) and talking about politics (Dutch and American). I also did an interview with a very nice journalist named Wim Boluijt for Heaven magazine (www.heaven.be).

April 20th – Amsterdamn, NE – Plein Theatre

I feel a little silly admitting this, but I cannot drive a stick shift. I’ve never owned one, and with the exception of maybe driving a buddies home on the back roads after he’d had too much to drink, I’ve hardly even tried to drive one (that was eons ago). So when the record company said the van we were using was a stick shift, it meant whoever was coming to play guitar with me was going to have to know how to drive a stick. Between the van and being turned out on our own for the first time on the roads of Holland, we were just proud to find the places we were going. We had a short stop over in Hilversum to do a radio interview with Paul Harvey (no, not that one) before driving onto Amsterdamn. And I’ll have to say, I wish American radio stations would give you a bottle of wine as a gift for doing live shows like they do in Holland.

The crew, the meal, the wine, etc was all great at the Plein Theatre. I saw my buddy Rod Picott’s and a guy named Malcolm Holcombe’s (who I’ve played some shows with) posters up on the walls. Nice to see some friendly faces when in another country. The theatre had great acoustics, you didn’t even need moniters. And I also got to meet Fabianna Dammers, who opened the show. She was a student at the Conservatory there in Amsterdamn, essentially studying to be a singer/songwriter. Which I think is cool, but it’s weird thinking about going to school to do this. I know there are music schools in America, but I doubt anyone there could teach you how to really write a song, book shows, produce your own records, tour manage yourself, lead a band, etc, etc. But I’m glad they’re trying to in Holland. Sandra and Luciano from Lucky Dice put on that show….they are big supporters of roots music over there and do great work. Got to see a little bit of Amsterdamn that night, but we had to roll onto Utrecht for the Blue Hwys show which meant once again going to bed at 5am.

April 21st – Utrecht, NE – Blue Highways Festival

Festival lineup was: Chip Taylor, Ollabelle, Bo Ramsey, Po’ Girl, Hacienda Brothers, Shooter Jennings, Kevin Kinney’s S.T.A.R., Joe Ely, Pieta Brown, and others….

I’ll have to say this was one of my favorite shows in Holland. I was told there were up to as many as 550 people crammed into the upstairs hall where we played. I don’t know if that’s true, but it was certainly packed and the crowd was incredible. To play an acoustic show to that many people was an amazing experience. I’m told the recording of the show sounded really good, so I’m looking forward to hearing it. I have a buddy from back in Manchester, TN (where I graduated High School) who had a few friends there in Utrecht that came to the show. So once again, small world. Here were two people who’d been to Manchester, TN visiting (Bonnarroo of course). I caught parts of the other acts shows, but it was hard to see everything. It was the first time I’d seen Kevin Kinney in ages and they were great. I’d never seen Bo Ramsey live before and he was a super cool cat just like you’d expect. And I caught the last song of Po’ Girl and have to say that lead singer is about the most adorable thing I’d seen in a long time. And judging by the crowds reaction, they thought so as well.  And I didn’t see Chip Taylor’s set, but I did run into him at around 3:30am in the hotel with my hands full of some late night Uthrecht junk food. And the funny thing about that is, the last time I ran into Chip was about a month before that at SXSW in Austin, TX at about 3:30am in the morning standing in line at the “Whataburger” to get late night junkfood.

*Clip of this show are at:  http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=2489645600667013646

*Interview after the show at:  http://video.google.nl/videoplay?docid=4108703415941151067

April 22nd – Ottersum, NE – Cultureel Podium Roepaen

OK, so I can officially say I’ve been to Germany now. I was only there for about 30mins on the road to Ottersum, but I’m still counting it. The couple who ran the bed and breakfast we stayed in there were extremely gracious and they had the most amazing garden. It was interesting because their English wasn’t as good as most people in Holland, so we mostly just drank wine and asked simple questions of each other…but they were super sweet folks, they reminded me of my grandparents. This was also my first experience w/ the semi-hard boiled egg in the little stand they give you for breakfast. Wasn’t sure what to do with those things. But Ottersum was just a tiny little town (not unlike Woodbury) close to the German border, and it had that small town charm. The venue was an old church that had been converted to a music hall and I probably took more pics of that place than anywhere else just because it looked so amazing. People tried to make me a preacher when I was a kid…so it does make me chuckle when I find myself singing and telling stories in churches. We opened this show for Kevin Kinney and his band S.T.A.R. They sounded great and I actually got to listen more than at the Festival the night before. I also have to admit to a party foul….we were all hanging out later that night and something seemed to come over me that made me a wee bit unsocial…so if any of you guys are reading this…sorry bout all that.  I was not myself all of a sudden that night. It must have been something in the water…but I still had a good time!

April 23rd – Eindhoven, NE – Meneer Frits

I was told that the reason Eindhoven looks so much newer than the rest of Holland cities is that it was completely destroyed during WWII. Apparently the Americans reclaimed Eindhoven, then moved on and left it unguarded and the Germans came back and bombed it too pieces. The venue in Eindhoven was a wonderful room. The sound was great in that room.  And it was a good looking crowd and they were so attentive and appreciative (like all Dutch audiences). Ad (the promoter) and some other friends we met at the show joined us for drinks and some great conversation at a little bar down the street. The name now escapes me, but it was the perfect kind of little bar. And the hotel we stayed at had a staircase that was so narrow and steep you could barely tote your luggage up it. And for some damn reason, Dave must have thought there was a fire on my face. Because otherwise I can’t explain why he would take the fire hydrant off the wall and hose me down with it. Maybe he was seeing shit. I quickly put him to bed after that one.  And apparently the ‘no parking’ sign in Holland is similar to our “train crossing” sign here. None-the-less…they ticket your dumb American Ass all the same.

April 24th – Leiden, NE – LVC

Leiden is one of those cities (like most actually) I wish we’d had more time to spend in. Such a beautiful town and as always, we were in and out like a bank robbery….or a rock n’ roll show. Actually, to be honest….we got there early enough to see some stuff. But between the constant on-the-go and the late nights…and the jet lag we’d been putting off…we both finally just crashed like zombies. I don’t know if you’d call this place a hotel or a bed and breakfast….but it was ..once again…narrow and steep…3 flights of stairs…..you basically get out the clothes you need and leave your suitcase in the van rather than fight those damn stairs. They did have a freakin sauna there though. Perfect for sweating out all those toxins! The show in Leiden was the closest thing we played to an American rock club. There were two bands after us (one of which, my friends Ollabelle..whom we hadn’t seen since the Blue Hwys Fest) and Patricia Vonne (whom I just rain into in Austin, TX recently..where they live) it was actually not bad to just do a short set and be done early for once. And Hans (promoter) had one song request, which thankfully I could oblige….since he was gracious, just like all the show promoters in Holland..and he ordered amazing korean take-out food for the bands. I have to say Dave did a fine job all week, particularly in Leiden, of dodging all the bycylers. They are fast and furious and swarming around the streets like bees. It’s like when you get to level 7 at Galaga or something. Almost can’t get away from those damn things.

April 25th – Deventer, NE – Burgerweeshuis

Deventer was one of my favorite towns as it turns out in the Netherlands. All the towns were great..and I’m sure it’s random why you had a better time in one town than over the other. Could’ve been your mood, how much sleep you had, the gig, the food, the waitress, etc. We were pretty worn out by this time, but the city had a certain vibe to it that kinda rejuvinated us or something. I didn’t see many overweight people in Holland and now I know why. If they werent on a bike, they were walking there asses off! Which we should probably do more of here in America, but shit’s so spread out here. If you say you have to drive 2 or 3 hours to another town people in Holland act like it’s a road trip from Hell. That makes me laugh, because we routinely drive 8-10 hrs here and go play a show…if it’s under 5 hrs thats awesome..if it’s under 3 hrs it’s like a cakewalk…we may even drive back home after the gig no matter how late it is. Now granted in America I can read the road signs and don’t spend 45 mins driving around town once I get there looking for the right street. But the hotel in Deventer wasn’t too far from the venue as it turns out. And I have to add….the waitress/bartender at the hotel there was the spitting image of Elizabeth Hurley. And I know us songwriter’s are a bit prone to hyperbole, but this is not an exagerration.

The Burgerweeshuis looks like I imagine the Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX used to (except several hundred years older…like everything in Europe). There is a huge door that opens up and has the big wooden latches like they used to keep King Kong out of the village. And the van barely…and I mean barely ….could squeek by into the main courtyard where we left it parked (I’ll come back to this later). There are a few different rooms they put shows on in at Burgerweeshuis (which i never learned to pronounce…but I did enjoy all the Dutch girls giggling everytime I would ask directions on the streets to get to it). The smaller room where we were playing that night used to be Mother Superior’s room when The Burgerweeshuis was an orphanage. And I have to say, the sound was incredible for a room that appreared to be just another pub. A strict town curfew meant we had to shut down the music promptly at 11pm….so there was plenty of time for drinking more good beer here. And it was one of the smaller shows we did in Holland, but I had some of my best times hanging out there that night.

The next morning we found our van in the compound surrounded by babies. Yes, very odd I thought too. Apparently one of the rooms there is used as a classroom for young mothers who aren’t ready to handle motherhood yet. And there are more mature ladies there who keep their infants while the young mothers are in class. And they just happen to have them all sprawled out on the lawn around the Rounder Van. As if that wasn’t odd enough…once we got outside the gates we ran into another roadblock. A huge tour bus pulling a trailer behind it had gotten jack-knifed in the streets trying to pull into the venue. Apparently it was hauling a heval metal band from Sweden (I’m not making any of this up)……but they had the only way out blocked to all traffic for a solid hour. This was an hour we would desperately need later in our drive to Paris!

April 26th – Paris, France – Pomme d’Eve

Ah Paris in the springtime. This was the longest drive we had all week. From North Holland all the way through The Netherlands and through Belgium and into France. They have these marvelous TomTom’s to navigate. We took to calling ours TamTam since it clearly had a female’s voice. We found a sticker in the bed and breakfast in Leiden that said ‘TamTam’ so we stuck that on her. Maybe she didn’t think this was funny, and she decided to take her revenge in Paris. We kept her off most of the ride in Paris on the account of the cigarette charger didn’t work in the van and she would only stay charged up so long. About an hour outside of Paris we called to say we were almost there (after a short shake down my French border patrol agents–apparently driving a van with Holland plates is a sure-fire way to get searched). But not long after hitting the outskirts of the city, the good ole TamTam went dead. I had jotted down the info off the screen earlier just in case this happened…but not actually thinking it would (my OCD came in handy here). Add to this the fact that our cell phone quit working and you have a nice disasterous receipe. The sem cards you buy to top off minutes on the cell phones over in Europe I guess are handy. But with my phone being in Dutch, I wasn’t ever sure if I dialed a wrong number or it was out of minutes…it all sounded the same). So the next several hours were a frustrating experience. We circled Paris stuck in traffic trying to find our way into downtown. And it’s such a massive city…very gorgeous, but hard to appreciate when you’re lost and about to miss an important show (and what’s with those crazy ass motercycle guys whipping in and out between cars?). We spent most of this time just stuck in crazy traffic…for if you missed a turn and thought you should go back the other way…you usually were out 30 mins to get back to where you were. And I suspect more people in Paris can speak English than they let on. For asking directions was a dead end here…unlike Holland where they were eager to speak English and helpful. Eventually…we got out of the crazy rush and stopped at a bar and I got some wonderful directions from some guys and used their phone to call the venue and explain what happened. The show promoter exclaimed we saved his life, as he was about to go get his guitar.  We were only ten mins away.

We pulled up into the venue a bit fried from the whole 10 hrs in the van (3 of it lost in traffic with no phone). I changed clothes in a closet and went straight down into the club and tuned up and we literally started playing the show. I took a big cold beer and a shot of whiskey up on stage with me. It was SO nice to just be playing and be out of that damn van. “Time To Pay” is one of my most agreesive songs, and we lead with that song for our set…to be honest, we had all sorts of aggression/tension to get out of our system.  After that, we could laugh about it.  Cause playing is easy.  The easiest thing musicians do is play. The million other things that got them there are what suck…but it is what it is.  And the moments you get to play makes it all worth it. The room was a 12th Century former cellar of an old church. And they’re basement was a 10th Century room according to the bartender. The ceilings were the old arched stone and it was quite an amazing little room. There was no room hardly to stand…capacity was about 75 and she was full. There are certain limitations sound wise that come from playing a stone cellar….but the vibe more than made up for it. It was so damn hot onstage, we hadn’t eaten since that morning, and had been crammed in that van all day….but yet somehow that show was one of the more memorable moments I had in Europe. The crowd was so great…and we were happy to oblige them with a few encores.  It’s amazing to me that I actually got requests from the audience in Paris during my show.  I wasn’t even aware I’d ever sold a single record in France.  So what had started out to be a nightmare, turned into a charmed night for me.  And then I was happy to sit back and toss a few back and chill out and listen to Carrie Rodriguez and crew play (she’s a great singer, and plays the fire out of that fiddle). It was the first time I’d really gotten to see her play and ironically she was playing with two of my friends from Nashville (Hans was playing guitar and Kyle (who’s now in Boston) was playing bass). I didn’t know Carrie and we talked for two seconds between sets…but she asked me to get up and sing an ole Merle Haggard song with her at the end of the night (“Today I Started Loving You Again”). Even though I’ve never performed that song (those of you who’ve seen me know I hardly do any covers at all)…..it just happened to be my favorite Merle song…so I was more than happy to get up and sing it with her.  I’m not much of a harmony singer, so I hope I didn’t slaughter it.

Herve (our show promoter) was such a nice guy and we all went out for some late night food on the streets of Paris….mainly cause everything else was closed. Herve and I go back a few years. He emailed me on ebay when he saw me bidding on an old Eric Taylor vinyl record that was out of print. And after a few emails we ended up trading some cds back and forth. And I’d forgotten all about him till I got an email from him saying he’d gotten my record from Rounder Europe and had booked a show for me and Carrie. He was quite shocked to hear of me after all those years I believe. It is indeed a small world.

April 27th – Venlo, NE – Perron 55

With the TamTam charged and now me and Dave plus Carrie, Hans and Kyle all crammed into the van we were on our way. I love Dave like a brother, but after a week I think we were both happy to have some other people to talk to. At some point after you travel with someone so much, you just don’t have any damn thing else to say to each other. It’s not that your mad or sick of the other person…you just dont have anything else to say you haven’t said already. Except maybe….”pull over i gotta piss”. ….or “I’m hungry…are you?”.

I’m told that normally at this time of year it rains alot in Holland. We didn’t see one drop and it was hot as blazes the entire time, which I’m told is also unusual. It was good though to get to Venlo early enough to chill out some before the show and cool off. After our show Dave and I both jumped up with Carrie and crew at the end and did a few encores. We sang “Today I Started Loving You Again” and I remembered it a bit better this time through….and we played along for another one of her songs. It was a fun ending to the show. A few of us gathered in the hotel bar for a late night drink……and I didn’t notice till I was back at the bar eating breakfast the next day, but they had “Four Roses” whiskey behind the bar. My Grandfather used to drink it and it wasn’t made for a long time, but has since made a small comeback. I’ve only seen it one other time and that was in Kentucky where it’s made (for $30 a bottle nonetheless). So as I whoofed down my favorite Dutch Dish, the outsmeiter (sp?), essentially what we always called an ‘egg burger’…two sunny side up eggs on toast, I really wasn’t tempted to try the whiskey so early in the day….not with my eggs anyways.

We bid goodbye to Carrie, Hans & Kyle an our ride picked us up and we were on our way to Groningen.

April 28th – Groningen, NE – Rhythm & Blues Night Festival

Festival lineup was:  Hacienda Brothers, Shooter Jennings, James Hunter, The Jeff Healey Band, Kimmie Rhodes, Los Lobos, Kevn Kinney’s S.T.A.R., Ollabelle, David Chiders & others…

Well….I haven’t mentioned her yet, but Karen Proeme who put my tour together and works for Rounder Records, did an amazing job. And it was so nice to meet her and everyone from the label in person and find out how nice they were. And Karen was nice enough to come and pick us up in Venlo and take us to Groningen after we gave the van back to Carrie.

And when we got all checked into our dressing room at the festival I couldn’t help but get a kick out of having my dressing room beside Jeff Healey’s. When I was in Jr. High School and that movie with Patrick Swaze came out “Roadhouse”, that was about the time Jeff Healey had become famous for “Angel Eyes”…..I have quite an imagination, …but I never imagined I’d be in Holland playing at a festival with my dressing room right across from the guy. Funny World.

The show was good……..it was our 10th show in 10 days, and Dave and I were pretty locked in musically by this time…but there was definately a sense of relief knowing we were gonna finally have a day off following this show. There is a recording of this show (as well as the Blue Highways show in Utrecht) that I hope sees the light of day sometime. It was recorded by NPS Radio Station, where I also did a late night interview with the lovely Elisabeth van Scherpenzeel (http://www.omroep.nl/nps/output/studio6.html). It was also good to meet David Childers from North Carolina, who I’ll be playing some shows with later this year…he also had an old acquantence of mine from Nashville, Duane Jarvis with him playing guitar. Funny how you have to go to the other side of the world to run into people from Nashville.

April 29th – Queensnight in The Netherlands

After finally catching up on some sleep in Utrecht, ….Dave and I went down to the Canals downtown in Utrecht for some good food and wine. The city was abuzz for the holiday…and apparently orange is the color you are supposed to wear for the Queens Holiday. Growing up in Tennessee, this basically just reminded me of a Saturday in the Fall at a football game at UT. Basically everyone was wearing orange (except nobody wore camoflouage here ;-). I think Utrecht is really one of my favorite cities, not as crazy as Amsterdamn, but still alot of stuff to do. We grabbed the train into Amsterdamn and met up with our friend Fabianna (who opened for us in Amsterdamn) and tried to live it up on more night before we had to leave Europe proper.

Queensday in The Netherlands we would be traveling all day. Dave’s flight back to American was an early one………mine was later and a bit more complicated. I got up and took a cab to the train station….took the train to Eindhoven….then took a bus to the airport…..and then flew into London. I had never been to England….so late that night after getting my rental car (wrong side of the road!!!!) I took off for Ipswich where I had a radio interview the next day. Getting around with one other guy who’d never driven in Europe with a GPS was work enough..though we managed. But now I was on my own…and the rental car company had NO gps units to rent (this would prove to be fatal later on). I made it to Ipswich late that night after a few hours of being freaked out driving on the wrong side of the road in a semi-automatic (I paid for an automatic!) car in the middle of the night……..I only had to stop and ask for directions a half dozen times in the middle of the night. The nice older gentleman working at the front desk was nice enough to open up the bar and let me purchase a big pint of Newcastle to take what was a serious edge I’d built up on my drive into town. All things considered, I felt good about myself at this point.

May 1st – Norwich, UK – Norwich Arts Center

I made it to the radio station……..it wasn’t a smooth process……driving on the highways i was fine…but the cities were tough to manuver solo for my first time in the UK. I was doing the radio show with Ollabelle, and we were doing the show in Norwich that night together…..so I was able to follow them (and their GPS!) most of the way into Norwich.

The show in Norwich was a good time though. The room had a huge ceiling and I felt like my voice echoed forever. It was a nice crowd and they were very supportive.  I was once again amazed to meet people who already owned my records.  Unfortunately my cds didn’t catch up to me there (wouldn’t have them till Bedford the next night) so I hope all those good folks were able to find them online. And since we had some time before the show to work a song up…I got up with Ollabelle and sang Hank Williams ‘Wedding Bells’. They are such a great band!

May 2nd – Bedford, UK – Ent’ Shed

I got up at 7am and hit the road as I was supposed to do a radio show in downtown London at the BBC with Bob Harris. However….this proved to be more than I could handle. Driving in downtown London with only a road atlas (oh, and my cell phone quit working that morning) made it a long day. I was late and missed my interview and frustrated and FRIED from trying to navigate in downtown London….(I am NOT a fan of the double decker buses)….and my interview with Bob was one of the things I was looking forward to the most on this trip, as he’s supported my music for several years now and I got to meet him briefly in Nashville last fall……We artist’s have a tendency to say ‘yes’ to everything were asked to do, because we want to make everyone happy and do all we can to promote our music responsibly.  But there are times we overextend ourselves and commit to things that aren’t always reasonable time wise.  I now know that even if I’d made my radio show that afternoon on time, I couldn’t have gotten out of London in afternoon traffic to make it to my load in time for Bedford’s show.  So as disappointed as I was about the radio show, I had no time to cry about it cause I had to make it to Bedford.  And this was something all new to stress about now.  However, somehow…I managed to make it back out to Bedford that night for my show with Ollabelle. I literally pulled up and asked someone to parrallel park my car for me and walked in and plugged up and tuned my guitar ….got a beer and a shot of Crown Royal from the bar and started playing. This was after 12 hrs in my car with no food or water (the guys/gals in Ollabelle were nice enough to save me a plate from the dinner I missed that I woofed down after my show)……..I only got out once at the BBC to apologize for being late…use the bathroom…and then get back on the road and try to figure out how to get OUT of London. I’m a Leo by birth, and were supposed to be a proud lot…maybe I just thought I could do all this by myself. Or maybe I was just a dumbass and didn’t know any better…either way……it was soooooo nice to just get to Bedford and play my show. Mike the show promoter in Bedford was nice enough to help me get set up with a phone that DID work in the UK the next day before I headed on to Brighton.  Crisis of confidence behind us.

May 3rd – Brighton, UK

I went down to Brighton a day early to spend my day off. I had a friend in London I was going to go see originally on this day……but after my crazy ass experience trying to drive in London (for which I’d receive a $100 congestion charge in the mail after I got home…apparently the gift that keeps on giving) I decided to haul my ass onto Brighton and just chill out. I’m glad I did. Brighton is a gorgeous town and I had a room overlooking the sea………and I just freaking crashed for several hours once I got there. A nice restaurant with a sweet waitress, good wine, and some roasted guinea fowl….and I was back to good. That and this little thing they call Absinthe (just a little bit will do ya) ….I was back in my hotel room watching the British election results….I was out cold by 11pm and didn’t move till the next day when a loud ass seagull was raising hell in my window I’d left open.  I wasn’t sure if he was coming in my window or not so I had to shoo him away and get up and pull the windows down partly.

May 4th – Brighton, UK – Red Roaster

Finally feeling alive and rejuvinated in Brighton…………I did two radio shows that afternoon, and then had some good ole fish n’ chips and then headed to my show. There was a local band, The Leadheads, …and another local artist, Laura Jane Kauffman who opened the show. Shaun, the show promoter, was a very gracious man and I really enjoyed the show there and getting to know him.  I also got to know Del who works PR for Rounder Europe in England and has been a great big help to me over there.  I’d been nervous about the turnout for the show, but was happy to see a decent audience. A guy came up to me afterwards and said he’d been waiting to see me play a show there for three years now…and that I didn’t dissapoint him. God bless that man. It really is the little things that keep us going sometimes.

May 5th – Brentwood (Essex), UK – The Seaxe

As much as I loved the Dutch breakfast….I quickly became used to the English breakfast as well. It looks like it will give you a heart attack…but it’s good stuff. I tried faithfully to start out each day with one of these though. I never could get used to the damn baked beans and french fries they serve with it though…….I eventually figured out I could substitute some mushrooms and tomatoes, which some of you may think sounds gross, but I’m now a BIG fan of that with my eggs, toast, bacon and sausage links.

This show was one I played with Corinne West…and kinda like Bedford…it’s what I think of as a true English Pub. Ian Flavill, the show promoter, was a very kind man and I’m glad I got to meet him by doing the show. Unfortunately for him though, he offerred to guide me to my hotel….and it wasn’t anywhere near where it said it was on the map……so we went back and forth up and down the highways late that night….I don’t think he minded, but his lovely wife and two daughters might have…haha…however, this was VERY fortunate for me…because I NEVER would’ve found it on my own. If you live nearby and you have trouble finding it… think how much trouble a hick from Woodbury, TN is gonna have.

May 6th – Newcastle – The Cluny

Well, I already knew I loved the beer they made in Newcastle. But it’s a looooong drive up there from the London area. But I eventually made it. I believe it was some sort of holiday in the UK and the roads were packed….but I eventually made it and met up once again with Ollabelle for another show. The town looked like alot of fun…but it was an in and out kinda deal as usual for me…..I’d love to go back to this town sometime and kill a few days. The crowd was great and it was nice to end the tour this way. And ironically I met someone who’d seen me play in Nashville years ago……small world once again. I will say though, the accents in Newcastle sound very Scottish to me…I know it’s getting up that way North in England.

May 7th – London

I drove all day long to go back to the outskirts of London near Heathrow airport………..I took the tube into town and met up with my old friend Leona from Nashville, who was finishing up her semester there at the University…had a nice dinner, caught a few sites…and then it was back to the train and to the hotel. I got up the next day and headed to the airport and was very glad to be going home. I love Europe….but I realized on the flight home that I’d been gone for 21 days….and that’s the longest I’ve been on the road…or away from where I call home at anytime in my life.

But I can’t wait to go back….

~SS

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